A Fast Knowledge Distillation Framework for Visual Recognition

December, 2021


While Knowledge Distillation (KD) has been recognized as a useful tool in many visual tasks, such as supervised classification and self-supervised representation learning, the main drawback of a vanilla KD framework is its mechanism, which consumes the majority of the computational overhead on forwarding through the giant teacher networks, making the entire learning procedure inefficient and costly. ReLabel, a recently proposed solution, suggests creating a label map for the entire image. During training, it receives the cropped region-level label by RoI aligning on a pre-generated entire label map, allowing for efficient supervision generation without having to pass through the teachers many times. However, as the KD teachers are from conventional multi-crop training, there are various mismatches between the global label-map and region-level label in this technique, resulting in performance deterioration. In this study, we present a Fast Knowledge Distillation (FKD) framework that replicates the distillation training phase and generates soft labels using the multi-crop KD approach, while training faster than ReLabel since no post-processes such as RoI align and softmax operations are used. When conducting multi-crop in the same image for data loading, our FKD is even more efficient than the traditional image classification framework. On ImageNet-1K, we obtain 79.8% with ResNet-50, outperforming ReLabel by ~1.0% while being faster. On the self-supervised learning task, we also show that FKD has an efficiency advantage. Our project page: this http URL, source code and models are available at: this https URL.

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